Pitx2, a bicoid-type homeobox gene, is involved in a lefty-signaling pathway in determination of left-right asymmetry

Cell. 1998 Aug 7;94(3):299-305. doi: 10.1016/s0092-8674(00)81473-7.


Signaling molecules such as Activin, Sonic hedgehog, Nodal, Lefty, and Vg1 have been found to be involved in determination of left-right (L-R) asymmetry in the chick, mouse, or frog. However, a common signaling pathway has not yet been identified in vertebrates. We report that Pitx2, a bicoid-type homeobox gene expressed asymmetrically in the left lateral plate mesoderm, may be involved in determination of L-R asymmetry in both mouse and chick. Since Pitx2 appears to be downstream of lefty-1 in the mouse pathway, we examined whether mouse Lefty proteins could affect the expression of Pitx2 in the chick. Our results indicate that a common pathway from lefty-1 to Pitx2 likely exists for determination of L-R asymmetry in vertebrates.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Body Patterning / genetics*
  • Chick Embryo
  • Drosophila Proteins
  • Embryo, Mammalian
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental
  • Genes, Homeobox / physiology*
  • Hedgehog Proteins
  • Homeodomain Proteins / biosynthesis
  • Homeodomain Proteins / genetics*
  • Homeodomain Proteins / physiology
  • Left-Right Determination Factors
  • Mice
  • Models, Genetic
  • Nuclear Proteins*
  • Paired Box Transcription Factors
  • Protein Biosynthesis
  • Proteins / genetics
  • Signal Transduction / genetics*
  • Trans-Activators / genetics*
  • Transcription Factors / biosynthesis
  • Transcription Factors / genetics*
  • Transcription Factors / physiology
  • Transforming Growth Factor beta / physiology*


  • Drosophila Proteins
  • Hedgehog Proteins
  • Homeodomain Proteins
  • Left-Right Determination Factors
  • Nuclear Proteins
  • Paired Box Transcription Factors
  • Proteins
  • Trans-Activators
  • Transcription Factors
  • Transforming Growth Factor beta
  • bcd protein, Drosophila
  • homeobox protein PITX1
  • homeobox protein PITX3
  • homeobox protein PITX2